In 2004, Ben Mack put together a website entitled WhatWouldBillHicksSay.com. The idea was that fans would post their thoughts on Bill’s take on current events. It received over half a million hits.
The idea itself was met with a certain degree of cynicism, the main argument being, “Who the fuck are you to put words in Hick’s mouth?”. I agreed. What kind of a self-important, arrogant dick thinks he knows what a dead man thinks?
So I wrote my own piece. Because I’m a self-important, arrogant dick. But one that hopes you enjoy these words…
WHAT WOULD BILL HICKS SAY? MONOLOGUE FOR STAGE
A large framed man, 33, dressed in a bright white trench-coat, bright white jeans and bright white cowboy hat emerges into a spotlight. This is the late BILL HICKS.
He stands on a vast open stage. A single bar stool sits next to a table with a glass of water on it. He walks over takes a sip of the drink and places his hat next to it.
“I used to be a comic. I used to be a dark little poet. I used to be a preacher. I used to be a blowtorch, an excavator, a soothsayer some would say. Richard Pryor said I was a dangerous and brave truth teller. He told me that again yesterday. That kinda thing could give a man an ego. Here, I’m just another douchebag with some opinions.”
Bill paces and looks around.
“Its weird just how much this place is like we imagine. Or maybe its not weird at all, just another construct of a mind too powerful. Lonelier though. It’d be nice to be able to control it more, bring my friends here, see my folks again. Its a bitch waiting to see my mom. Waiting for that lecture on the masses of pornography she’ll find in my apartment. She’ll find some under the bed and frown a little. Then she’ll find the boxes in the back of my closet and start to freak. When she finds the attic full of ‘Anal Vixens’ 1 through 53 it might be what tips her over. Maybe I’ll see her sooner than I think.”
Bill looks at his clothing.
“For a man who dressed in black all his life this is a hell of a change. No pun intended. I suppose they’re trying a whole aesthetic thing.”
Bill pauses a while. The quick fire smart mouth replaced with something more reflective.
“I don’t understand why I get to see you all yet you can’t hear me. I get to see all the major fuck ups you’re doing over and over and over again and even if I scream and shout you pay no attention. What have I been dead for the last ten years?”
“Bush though! Seriously, Again! Did y’all not get the fucking clue in the name people! Well I suppose some things never change. And now you guys are poised to give another family a second go. When the fuck did Washington D.C become inbred? They had thumbs when I left. Fuck. So what else has changed. Another Bush, another war, more manufactured pop and ‘reality’ tv, more fear, more advertising, more marketing and yeah what else have I missed? George Micheal turned out to be a fag.”
Bill puts on a faux shocked face.
“Who’d a thunk it?”
Bill pulls a pack of cigarettes out.
“At least there’s no danger of lung cancer now. Dodged that bullet!”
He lights up.
“Its strange how big the desire is to come back. Not just because I miss you guys. I do, if you’re wondering. Its more to just let you know you don’t have to run around crapping in your pants. Panicking to early graves if a man with a backpack says hello. The boogeyman is a myth ladies and gentlemen. And death, the biggest fear of all? It just about beats the alternative.”
Bill leans over the side of the stage.
“One question though? This climate of fear. Are you people so dumb as to not see through it? Do you not see how by wasting your lives worrying about every person you meet, every bus ride you take, your missing out on the important stuff. How about concentrating on the climate of change instead. But then again, fuck it. The only thing that will lose out when we destroy the planet is us. The earth will still be here. The cycle will continue. Its just over the next million or so years there won’t be people. Great. I’m cool with that. So the next time someone stops you in the street to ask you to help save the planet tell them to “quit being so selfish”. Mother earth will do fine without us.”
Bill flicks his cigarette onto the floor.
“Filthy habit (beat) its nice that a few of you are carrying on some of the shit I said. But, will you do me a favour? For your old pal Bill? Don’t put words in my mouth. Put them in your own. If something is pissing you off speak up. If you can make a joke out of it all the better.”
“Y’know before I left I was still changing, still thinking, still evolving. I’m sorry if I left you with what you thought was a dogmatic set of rules. That wasn’t the idea.”
Bill lets out a despondant sigh.
“I get the impression this isn’t the final place. Maybe its just the next step. The next level of Sonic the Hedgehog if you will. Still quite a way to go before we face the end of game boss and explode into a single ball of energy, and peace and love. Still got a lot to figure out before I can really rest easy. Before I go I’ve gotta let y’all in on my biggest regret though. Telling y’all that you could suck your own dicks. Its a myth guys. I’m sorry if I fooled ya. Watching y’all try so damn hard is pretty funny tho. But the pity in your eyes as you lay flat out after another failed attempt evokes a guilt I really don’t have time for. Seriously give it up. I was lying. Decide for yourself if I was lying about anything else. Before I was bluffing a bit, but now I can speak a little from experience. Maybe I didn’t speak loud enough before which is why I’m still only on Level 2. I’d love to come back and let you know some more but I don’t think they’re gonna let me have a day release anytime soon.”
The lights go down and a harp version of ‘Purple Haze’ by Jimi Hendrix starts up.